WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? Spiders weave webs in Guelph park

A giant spider greets walkers along the trail near London Road in Exhibition Park. The creature is part of a spider-themed art installation that opened Oct. 25 and will remain in the park until early December.

The trees in Exhibition Park are crawling with giant spiders, all part of an art installation created through a partnership between the City of Guelph and local theatre groups.

JUST THE FACTS:

“Spider Secrets,” as the name implies, is a spider-themed installation that went on display Oct. 25 around a section of trail at the south end of the park, near London Road.

After months of dark stages due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the project was conceived to offer theatre groups a chance to engage with the community, a news release said.

“It’s been a dark couple of years on stages, and a challenging time for artists and for the community,” city manager of museums and culture Tammy Adkin said, in the release. “We hope this installation encourages the community to play, explore, and find some joy.”

The Downtown Theatre Project, Royal City Musical Productions and Guelph Little Theatre were involved in the project.

“We worked with the city earlier in 2021 to install scenes from popular stage productions along the Riverside Park skate trail,” the Downtown Theatre Project’s Paul Barson said, in the release.

“Winter Woodland Theatre was a great success, and we’re excited to see the community’s reaction to this new fall installation.”

While that earlier display focused on theatre productions, this current installation aims to highlight nature and to provide some education about spiders in particular.

The scenes serve as larger-than-life illustrations of different spider behaviours, and on-site signs include QR codes that will take viewers to a city webpage, bit.ly/311EZ0Z, featuring photos of different spiders and interesting spider facts.

Spider Secrets will remain on display until early December.

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